The Relationship between Terrorism and Islam: An Insight into the Myth and Reality
Ochieng’, Gerface Ojwang’
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This was a philosophical research which focused on the social political philosophy to analyse the relationship between Islam and terrorism. There seems to be a disconnect between the understanding of Islam as a religion that signifies peace, fraternity, justice, equality, brotherhood among human beings, and a philosophy which brings man closer to God, and the beliefs of Islamic Jihadists. The concern which arises here is a logical inconsistency in the belief of Muslims when it comes to war on terror. Thus, the ontological and epistemic contribution of Islam to human dignity becomes disputed. This also begs the question; is there any relationship whatsoever between terrorism and Islam or is such perception, just a mere myth? This research was informed by the essential theory of human nature. Human nature arguments asserts that the values of humans can be validated, for humans, by their species nature and that the commonality of that nature makes value discussion possible among us. Essential theory of human nature was supplemented by the Just War Theory with the idea of a jus ad bellum, or the justification for engaging in war. The second normative condition of a just war is its jus in bello, or the justice arising within war. On methodology, the typical philosophical methods: Analysis, Critical Technique, and Discourse Analysis were employed to address the research problem by interrogation of the cognate basic beliefs by way of analysis, evaluation, reflection that culminated in philosophical speculation with regard to the research problem and relevant issues there in. Data was obtained from primary texts which included; the Holy Quran, the Hadith as recorded by Sahil al-Bukhari, Al Dimashqi, and supplemented with materials from secondary sources. This study found that the Islam terrorism nexus is a complex entity, due to the chapters on war in the holy books which are revered by Muslims. The chapters direct Muslims to kill infidels. Some moderate Muslims condemn such verses that they were written in context and should not be taken outside context. Suffice to say that Islam given valid and proper interpretation does not perpetuate terrorism and it is a myth to relate it with terrorism. The presence of the cited verses in the books of Islam on war, taken out of context as argued in this thesis and erroneously interpreted by the Jihadists and by extension terrorists, create a sense that Islam precipitates terrorism. This study recommends that moral philosophy and criticality should be introduced in higher levels of education so as to instil morality and criticality among the young ones. Muslim leaders need to take thorough doctrine revision and come up with many fatawa to teach and help people have a clear understanding and interpretation of the verses in the Holy Quran in their contexts. It also recommends that Mujahedeens and the West who are fighting terrorists should be governed by the dictates of Just War Theory which protects non-combatants. There is also a need to reduce fundamental theology out of ethics and charitable foundation. Moreover, governments of the world have to realize that they have prima facie obligations to immediately address and eradicate some causes of terrorism, which include poverty, oppression, suffering and injustice.